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Saying Don’t Worry About a Thing

I’ve been known to be a tiny bit high-strung at times.

For instance, last week I started drawing up divorce papers after my husband left his LaCroix can on the floor for the seventh night in a row. I quit the divorce process, however, soon after realizing how much more work it would be compared to throwing a can into a recycle bin once in a while.

Lately, I’ve noticed that my anal-retentive tendencies have gotten worse within my role as a stay-at-home-mom.

I catch myself sometimes lying in bed, mulling over things that need no mulling over. Mundane things like making the bed, changing the oil, organizing the bookshelf. I wonder when I’ll do them, how I’ll do them, what is the best way to do them.

I contemplate the order in which I’ll get everything done that needs to be done, trying to make the most efficient use of time, always nervous that time will run out.

So I’ll make lists, but I’m starting to realize I may have a slight problem with list-making.

Let me put it this way, if every list I made was a dollar bill, I could easily drop five stacks on a make-up bag.

I have a pen and pad of paper in in every room as well as two features on my phone at the ready for my various listing purposes. And I will rewrite the same list five-thousand times just to get the order of the list right. Lists for the things such as what I need to do each day, each week, in life, lists for meals, exercises, for each of my various businesses and jobs, for home renovation. I have four separate lists for groceries (according to the store), one for what I need to do before my son wakes up in the morning, one for before his nap, one for after he goes to bed. I’m considering starting a list to organize my lists.

Another thing I worry about constantly are parenting techniques, and whether or not I’m doing it right.

I fret when I get lost in my thoughts and don’t talk talk always talk, because in parenting books they say the more words your kid gets the smarter they will be.

I worry that when I do talk to him, it’s in a high-pitched nervous sort of way like I were pacifying a snarling dog in a dark alley. And that I’m usually not adding much to the conversation other than repeating back what he says in question form.

“Crummufis,” he’ll say.

“Crummufis?” I reply, the foreign language part of my brain cramping, desperate to figure out the meaning of Crummufis before a meltdown ensues. 

“No!”

“You want muffins?”

“NO!”

“You’re… filled with stuffs?”

“NO!!!! CrummuFIS.”

“You want to play with Davis (David)?”

“Yeah.”

I worry about sulphates, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, gluten, dairy, GMO’s, pink wigs, zike bikes and fairy farts. 

My biggest worry as of late are the tantrums. 

Tantrums can erupt at any moment when you live with a toddler. It’s like walking through a minefield somedays. They want you to provide order and structure and consistency and to help them make sense of the world, but at the same time, with their two years of life experience, they think they are ready to dictate how things should be. So if you deny their requests or delay their request, or cross them in any way, be ready to pay. And even though their requests in life are as small as they are, they are entirely insane.

Or am I the crazy one? Is it common knowledge that one simply does NOT hand someone a short section of banana? Does everyone but me know that bananas are supposed to be handed out at a regulation four centimeters and anything shorter or longer than this warrants hysterical crying and punching?

Should I have known that when I stuck a pencil in my hair that my son would yell at me on repeat (YAMOR) that he wanted long hair, as in right that instant, so he could stick a pencil through it like mommy? (I was a little flattered he thought I had that sort of power). And that the YAMOR-ing would not cease until I dug out an old headband to put around his head and stuck a pencil through it?

I find my adult, sleep-deprived mind learns this four centimeter rule, these tactics in pencil-hair negotiation. So in the future I will approach the toddler (with much trepidation), as to what length they would like their banana before committing to breaking off a piece of said banana. And if I really want a pencil in my hair, I’ll be sure have a headband in my pocket.

I’m assuming it will be down THESE passages of thought that my adult, sleep-deprived mind will slide until I wake up one morning cuddled snug and warm in my straight-jacket.

So I’ve decided it’s time to challenge these thoughts, and to try to be a little more, “laid back”.

What if I don’t parent the right way?

What if there is no right way?

What if the time runs out?

What if I don’t make the bed?

What if I look the other way when I notice a peanut butter encrusted face and the smell of poop?

What if I let the little guy watch TV?

(We don’t actually own a TV, however, the pure and unadulterated beauty of YouTube has not been lost on me. He’ll now zombily watch Elmo’s World or some guy opening plastic Easter eggs, which temporarily pauses the YAMOR-ing just long enough for me to work on my tan so as not to get arrested on my trip to Florida for illegally-white legs make breakfast.)

And so what if he has a tantrum?

Will anyone die or become permanently maimed?

I wonder what would happen if I didn’t worry about a thing.

Would every thing be alright as they say?

I’m trying to give it a shot.

And without worrying taking up my time, I’ll be freed up to judge other parents who still worry about their kids. Like the mom and dad I met the other day in the play area at a coffee shop who were crouched in their chairs like cats hunting grasshoppers, their brows deeply furrowed as they watched their two-year-old play with a truck. They asked him every .06 seconds if he liked playing with the truck, if he wanted to read a book, if he wanted a piece of muffin.

I leaned back and sipped the foam off my latte as I watched my son methodically plucking every book off the book rack, reminiscing how I used to be the same way as those poor worriesome parents. I laughed smugly to myself while I quickly finished a third-draft of a to-do list on my phone.

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